Monthly Archives: March 2015

A beloved one of the gang


The other week I was at a Coffee House at Sanctuary, and Dan (the emcee and one of the original members of Sanctuary) was introducing Greg Paul (the founder and pastor of Sanctuary). He said something like, “and now introducing our beloved… well… our beloved… one of the gang!” My friend Anne, who is married to Dan, leaned over to me and said “If that’s how I’m referred to at my funeral, that would be pretty cool.” I feel exactly the same way. Whether it be at Sanctuary, The Dale, my family, a circle of friends, I just want to be a beloved one of the gang.

Last week Sanctuary lost a deeply beloved one of the gang. Greg “Iggy” Spoon passed away last Tuesday, totally surrounded by family and friends. It was one of the hugest and least deserved honours of my life to have been there in that room, as he left us to join his Creator. I still find it pretty hard to believe that he’s gone, even though I witnessed his departure.

Iggy was most definitely “one of the gang” at Sanctuary. He had been part of the community for a good 12-15 years before I showed up almost 5 years ago. He was an incredible artist, a kind and very loyal friend, an asker of the toughest questions; a hurting and beautiful soul. I hadn’t spent nearly as much time with him over the past couple of years as I did when I was at Wycliffe and interning at Sanctuary, but he still greeted me with warmth, asked how I was doing, and made me feel like a beloved one of the gang. What an incredible gift.

His absence is felt keenly by many, many people, and will continue to be felt. If you could, please join me in praying for good and healthy grieving to happen in the Sanctuary community, his family, and the other circles to which he belonged.



[Greg Paul and Iggy. A beloved two of the gang.]

Being away, and back again


I’ve been away over the past couple of weeks, on a vacation with a dear friend and her family, and then at a wedding of another dear friend. I am so grateful for these trips, and the incredible generosity that made them possible. I am also very happy to be home, back to life at The Dale, and at Sanctuary. These two weeks away gave me plenty of opportunity to rest and be rejuvenated, and also to talk about my beloved communities.

I found myself telling many new people about The Dale, especially at the wedding. I spent a week with 40ish people that I had never (or barely) met, so I had many conversations about who I am and what I do with my time! I was able to explain the philosophy of the Dale, and that fact that I gain just as much and more than I give to the community, as I receive the gifts of others. The consistent response that I got from people was, “Wow, you really seem to love what you do!” It’s true… I really do!

Coming home this week, I was reminded afresh of why I love this community, and the many ways that we work together to weave the fabric that is The Dale. Let me share a few:

– a community member phoned me up to tell me that he’d been offered a bunch of free food that would otherwise go to waste, and wanted to share it with us/the neighbourhood. He came to outreach with a duffel bag full of fresh, packaged sandwiches, which we were able to distribute.
– A bunch of guys in the community pitched in with shoveling, dish washing, and moving some belongings for another community member, all without being asked.
– Folks in the community are always looking out for one another, and this week a number of folks caught me up on some worries they had for others in the community. These weren’t bits of gossip, but honest concerns for mutual friends.

– I also went to dinner drop-in at Sanctuary, and was told by a friend that she’d been praying for me while I was away. She wanted to tell me about her week, which was full of struggles and victories, and also to hear about my trips, know the colour of my bridesmaid’s dress, and see pictures.

It was good to be away, and it’s SO good to be back.